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Historical overview: 24 years of WaterHCI (de)conferences

Toronto, Ontario, Wednesday March 30th, 2022, 9:30am to 7pm Eastern Daylight Time

The Water-Human-Computer Interface DECONference is an annual (de)conference series that began in 1998 at University of Toronto’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in collaboration with the then McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology, hosting DECONference0 in 1999, with an initial emphasis on pandemic preparedness and the importance of clean water, noting that Toronto is regarded by many as the world’s epicenter of freshwater.

Decon1 took place in 2000 at University of Toronto and Decon2 took place in 2001 at Gallery TPW on 80 Spadina Ave in Toronto. Decon3 was hosted at Deconism Gallery in Toronto, August 2002 as its inaugural exhibit.

Originally a series of playful art installations on culture and technology, the ideas, inventions, and designs arising from the WaterHCI DECONference series were presented on Capitol Hill in Washington DC and informed the design of hospitals across the United States and around the world for pandemic preparedness.

WaterHCI DECONference 2011 (November 22nd, 2011) For WaterHCI DECONference 2011 (November 22nd, 2011), we brought together First Nations, such as First Nations musicians David and Kimberly Maracle, from the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, along with Waterfront Toronto, University of Toronto, and Ladies of the Lake, to envision Hydraulikos in the context of ancestral teachings within Toronto's waterfront community, regarding the construction of a more permanent version of the TeachBeach in downtown Toronto.

Last year at WaterHCI-2021 we identified grand challenges in the new field of WaterHCI, and proposed a new taxonomy/ontology/classification system for research and practice at the intersection of water, humans, and technology.

Since 1998 the annual WaterHCI DECONference has been a collaboration between the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the McLuhan Program.

This year the 24th annual WaterHCI DECONference is Hosted by the McLuhan Centre Working Group on Equiveillance, at University of Toronto, led by:

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